A lack of reliable financing for the services in supportive housing can be one of the biggest barriers to ending chronic homelessness. Medicaid can pay for these critical tenancy support services, but figuring out how to make this a reality can be challenging. In Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit, CSH lays out a framework for states that want to create a Medicaid benefit to pay for supportive housing services.
CSH’s framework provides guidance in five areas of implementation: 1) Benefit eligibility, 2) Service package 3) State Medicaid plan changes, 4) Financing and reinvestment strategies, and 5) Operationalizing the benefit.
The white paper also provides a helpful overview of Medicaid for professionals in the homeless housing field and an overview of supportive housing for those in the health care sector. It demonstrates that this type of benefit will give states a way to use their Medicaid resources more efficiently while improving the health outcomes of their most vulnerable citizens. The paper was written with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, and Washington’s Chronic Homeless Policy Academy. The examples and data are specific to Washington, but the paper is designed to be a resource for all states. Here’s what folks in Washington are saying about the paper.
Everyone working to end chronic homelessness in their state should read CSH's Creating a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit. I read a lot of papers. This paper is unique because it is practical. It explains Medicaid for those of us in the housing world, is full of important data about housing and healthcare needs, and provides a clear framework for action.
-Tedd Kelleher, Managing Director, Housing Assistance Unit, Washington State Department of Commerce
The health care and housing sectors have a lot to learn from each other as we work to better serve people who are highly vulnerable. CSH's paper clearly lays out what supportive housing is and the important role it plays in health care service delivery for this population.
-MaryAnne Lindeblad, Washington State Medicaid Director
Many stakeholders in the homeless housing and services community are searching for ways to create more supportive housing, and every conversation stumbles on the question: “What role can Medicaid play in the creation of supportive housing?” Learning about Medicaid can feel overwhelming to providers and funders in the homeless system, but CSH’s paper breaks it down in a way that’s easy to understand. Their framework for implementation provides a clear and cogent structure on which we can base discussions and decisions.
-Bill Block, Region X Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The chronic homeless policy academy in Washington State is exploring innovative steps to end chronic homelessness. Creating a Medicaid supportive housing services benefit is now one of our top priorities, and CSH’s framework is guiding our efforts.
- Melodie Pazolt, Supported Employment and Supportive Housing Program Administrator, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Behavioral Health and Recovery Division